Aleksei Sytsevich and two of his associates hijacked an Oscorp van containing vials of plutonium. Sytsevich was the driver of the truck while his comrades secured the goods. However, Spider-Man intervened and webbed up Sytsevich's allies, handing them over to the police. Determined to not be caught, Sytsevich continued to flee in the truck, causing a great deal of damage to other vehicles on the road and a number of police cars. Spider-Man confronted Sytsevich face-to-face, using his spider sense to dodge the rapid fire of Sytsevich's machine gun. Spider-Man disarmed him and then webbed each wrist to the walls opposite so his arms were crossed over his chest. Spider-Man proceeded to pull down Sytsevich's pants to humiliate him further. Sytsevich was incarcerated in the Vault by the NYPD. Later, after Harry Osborn's incarceration, The Gentleman visited Harry, speaking to him Harry about their plans for revenge against Spider-Man by forming a team of villains. He also informed Harry that Sytsevich was a prime candidate to pilot a large metal exo-suit created by Oscorp. Sytsevich was broken out of the Vault and donned the exo-suit. He took to the streets of New York, which hadn't seen Spider-Man since his confrontation with the Green Goblin and Gwen's death, and began shooting at the police, calling himself "The Rhino". A boy dressed as Spider-Man, who Spider-Man had helped out earlier, stepped out in front of Rhino, trying to make a stand. Rhino mocked the child when the real Spider-Man arrived on the scene. Rhino began to charge at Spider-Man who leapt in the air using a manhole cover as a weapon. Rhino's defeat is not shown as the film ended when the battle started, therefore his fate is unknown at this point. Spider-Man defeated him off-screen.
Before the sequel was announced, Paul Giamatti wanted to play Rhino in a Spider-Man film.
In late 2013, Paul Giamatti confirmed that Rhino will return in The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
Director Marc Webb revealed that Sytsevich's appearence in the film is only for 4 minutes.
This version of Rhino is a combination of the mainstream and Ultimate portrayal of Rhino in the comics. He has the background and name of the mainstream Aleksei Sytsevich but the Rhino exo suit is more akin to the Ultimate universe's Alex O'Hirn R.H.I.N.O.
Before his suit for the movie was revealed, many people suspected that Rhino's suit would be based on the cross-species Rhino from the 2012 video game.
Even though he now calls himself "Rhino" he is only credited as "Aleksei Sytsevich".
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2 mobile game, Aleksei is broken out of prison by Kraven the Hunter and gets the Rhino mech suit and fights Spider-Man.
In the main Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game based off the movie, Rhino's mech suit can be seen when Spider-Man goes to take photos for J. Jonah Jameson which was stolen by a Russian gang, hinting they are intending to get one of their members to use it.